Return to Pico: Soul in Central VT

I hear skiers call Pico a “family hill” or “locals’ mountain” but to me it goes well beyond that. Pico has tons of soul. Despite detachable quads and comfortable amenities, Pico is a throwback with a history that dates back to 1937.

That’s when the mountain was opened by Bradford and Janet Mead, an adventurous couple that had skied in Europe and whose daughter, Andrea, would eventually win Olympic gold twice in 1952. In “Skiing in the East — Ski Trails and How to to Get There” by The Federal Writers’ Project, Pico is described as featuring two huts (one top, one bottom) an 1100 foot tow and “a pleasing combination of open slopes, practice runs and expert trails.”

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Mount Peter: Welcome Back in Time

Last week my eleven year old asked me to take him to Mount Peter. He’s been skiing bigger hills the last few years and has been stepping up his game lately so I was a little surprised that he wanted to return to the 450-foot feeder hill. Still, I think that all skiers remember their home mountain fondly. My son is lucky that his is such a special place, with so much history and charm.

When my older son started skiing, I looked around for a small area where he could learn. It had to be nearby, small, affordable with a good ski school and magic carpet. There are several feeder hills that fit the bill around the metro area and we tried them all out.

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Silvermine: Frozen in Time

The first article I wrote for NYSkiBlog was about taking my kids hiking at the long closed Silvermine Ski Area in Harriman State Park. Silvermine has been one of my go-to spots for a long time, for short walks, hikes around the lake, canoeing, sledding and an occasional ski.

It’s a cool spot to get a small dose of nature quickly, easy to get to, has convenient parking and even has bathrooms. Though New York is littered with closed ski areas, most of them have been completely erased from the land. Nearby Ski Stony Point, for instance, is covered in McMansions with big manicured lawns. Silvermine looks like someone shut it down and just walked away twenty years ago.

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